Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Summer Holidays 2018

Hello lovelies!

I have been having a 'gentle' summer.


I haven't exactly been lazy but just trying to take it easy on myself. 

Almost immediately after Christmas, we followed the Parental Units 10 hours north to their little slice of heaven in Mollymook on the south coast of NSW.


 I took with me a beautiful skein of Manos del Uruguay Alegria grande which is a worsted weight yarn.



 The Motherships' evil/ adorably strange looking cat Tiki watched enviously as I wound the ball of yarn...


 I started making these circle popcorny things. I rather like them. But I'm really not sure what to use them for. My original thought was to make a small shoulder bag, the kind you sling around your neck, just big enough for my phone for when we went on jaunts to the beach. 

I know it's not cool to take phones to the beach because you're supposed to be enjoying the nature and stuff, but I love having it handy to take ALL OF THE PHOTOS!!!! 


You may or may not have noticed two refreshing glasses of cool liquid in both my yarn photos. This does not indicate Louise is being healthy and hydrating with a cool glass of water with a slice of lemon.

It means it's late afternoon and therefore Gin O'Clock and Louise has helped herself to a gin & elderflower cocktail....

The Parental Units love cooking. A gene I did not inherit. Here is the Fatherdom making pasta for the lasagne we had later that evening.


My Auntie Horse Whisperer has also now settled in town and expanded her collection of miniature ponies and horses to start a sweet pony party business called Wendy's Pony Parties.


I don't love horses. They can bite, kick, and generally when I ride a full sized horse or pony, I feel WAY too far away from solid land on a moving thing I can't control. 

But these ponies and mini horses were so freaking adorable!! And super friendly! They just wanted pats and cuddles!


We only had one week, then it was back in the car for the long drive home.

And it was time to get our party shoes on. One of Bears friends is in an 80s style metal band and does rock festival promotions. So when he proposed to his lovely lady a while back, they decided to have a Weekend Rock Festival Wedding...
We packed the campertrailer, slipped on our party dresses and hit the road...

Trying on my wedding outfit.  Do you see that lovely sparkly pendant? It was made for me by my lovely bloggy buddy Vicki from Off The Hook For You at one of her Makers Cabin classes!

Rocknroll Brides and Grooms get married on stage....
 It was a blistering 42 degrees celcius that day, until a cool change swept in at 6pm. The temperature dropped down to 25c straight away. We enjoyed a beautiful sunset, then listened to live bands and DJs till we stumbled back to our campertrailer (others had tents) to sleep.


I'm very lucky as I have been able to take the summer off work (with my long service leave) to spend time with my boys and try and continue to heal.

I have given myself a break from designing crochet patterns for a little while. This is hard because I always have ideas running through my head!  

A little while ago I started making granny squares with this beautiful yarn called Moda Vera Fayette which now I think is no longer stocked (insert sad face here). I made just enough for a wrap which I envisioned wearing when I want to pop out on a cool, but not cold evening. 



I finally finished the 80 something squares (in between lots of knitted sock making), and have now started sewing them together...
Apologies for the dark photo....
 

The yellow is a bit 'muddier' than I would have liked which I feel makes the overall colours a little duller but once it has been sewn and blocked, I'll take it out into the sunshine for a photo!
Thanks for visiting! 

xox
Louise

The Red Haired Amazona

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Summer

I used to really dislike summer.



But after the long almost sun-less winter we just had, I have been yearning for sun and warmth.

My garden has gone nuts!

The sweet peas grew so high very quickly.

I had to give it a little haircut as the vines were starting to tumble over the neighbours fence. 
Trimming 8ft sweet peas when you're 5ft is a little bit like trying to get a hug from a reluctant teenage son. You try to reach up, while they don't particularly want to bend down and just awkwardly pat you on the shoulders while making short dinosaur jokes at your expense...



But they got trimmed down to top of fence level and within a week started flowering like crazy again.



I'm itching to get back into crochet after devoting the past 3 weeks to sock knitting...



I made them for the Mothership for Christmas. I'm not a speedy knitter so every spare minute while watching tv, commuting on the train or while Sonofagun No.2 did his swimming lessons was devoted to knitting.
I forgot to take a photo of the finished product to show you!

So now I get to play with a delicious ball of Scheepjes Whirl which was an early Xmas pressie from my best bloggy buddy Vicki from Off The Hook in Jolly Old England!



I don't know what I'm going to make with it yet!

The Bear and I were allowed out on our annual 1 night out of the year for our work Xmas parties. Mine was drinks after work at a cocktail bar. The Bear met me there and we then went off to his which was drinks at the Melbourne Zoo!


These smiles are saying, "Yay! I've been freed to play with other grown ups in a non-work setting! And drink free booze!"
These smiles also hide us both thinking, "I kind of want to be home on the couch in my pjs watching netflix! I'm so old and boring."



Christmas joyfully vomited all over the house!




 On the day we were joined by the parentals, my sister the Blonde Amazona as well as the divine Miss Em (aka the Blonde Bombshell) and our other friend Elise.

I made the trifle to end all trifles. The designated drivers asked for theirs 'to go' as there may or may not have been half a bottle of sweet sherry that may have accidentally been 'spilled' into it...


I call it 'Sherry with cake and other stuff'.


Although it was a bit windy, the sun was out and it was a beautiful 23c. The garden was showing off. It was nice to show off my hollyhocks to the Mothership & Fatherdom. 



 I saw them several times head down, bum up taking photos! 

My snapdragons are dwarfed!




Coreopsis 'Rum Punch'


After my last post I received many messages and comments here and via Facebook of support as well as so many of you sharing your stories of dealing with anxiety. Thank you for kind words and I'm sending all my love to everyone who also battles with this. I have only recently had this but many have had to deal with it for years! 
So a massive interwebs hug for all of us! 

xox
Louise
The Red Haired Amazona

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Sweet peas, anxiety, some crochet, anxiety & Spring!


I've been less bloggy this year.


Sometimes bloggers get a little burnt out. Or lose inspiration.

Maybe they get bored of blogging.

I have been none of those things.

I have had a busy year. I moved house. I went overseas. And sadly we lost a very much loved family member in August.  

I do miss my old house & suburb. How empty it looked in this photo from May.

Sometime around Autumn ( April) I started feeling not great.

I couldn't quite put my finger on it.

Then I felt very not great and thought I had asthma. 

Then I started developing chest pains and this awful feeling as if a vice was tightening around my chest.  It was pretty scary.

One doctor thought I had asthma.

But the ventolin made me feel a bit yucky.  

It got worse very quickly where I thought I was going crazy.

Another doctor said I could have a bronchitis thing and gave me antibiotics.

I went to a new doctor.  One who didn't throw antibiotics or ventolin at me.  She said I had Anxiety and Panic Disorder.

How ridiculous!  This wasn't me.  I'm no nutjob!  
I survived being married to a horrendous excuse for a human being for 10 years. 
I survived daggy hairstyles and pinafore dresses inflicted upon me by my mother in the 70s.
I survived being bullied through high school.  
I survived horrendous fashion choices in the early 1990s. 
I was a happy, optimistic chicky babe!

I believed I was one of the strongest, most resilient people I knew.

Apparently my brain had other ideas.  It started having a little melt down WITHOUT MY PERMISSION!  
And it wouldn't stop when I told it to.

I developed a phobia. I thought phobias were things that only affect people on current affairs shows. The type of people who ate cardboard and talked to walls.

I would wake up in the morning and struggle to get out of bed. I would barely be able to take Sonofagun No.2 to school.  

My new doctor was AMAZING.  She is this delicious portuguese goddess. I call her Dr Va-va Voom (or Dr VVV for short). She's like a tornado of exuberance and emotion. I walk into her clinic and she's like:

"OMG IMA GONNA GET YOU TESTED! IMA GONNA TEST YOUR BLOODS! WE TEST FOR VITAMIN D, VITAMIN B, IRON, THE MENOPAUSE, WHITE CELLS, RED CELLS, 

WE GONNA TEST FOR EVERYTHING!!!!

And then she grabbed my hands, looked straight in my eyes and said,

"IMA GONNA FIX YOU AND MAKE YOU BETTER BEAUTIFUL LADY!" 

Do you know what it feels like when someone takes you completely onboard when you've been feeling like a lost soul in a stormy ocean with nothing to grasp onto?

So I was blood tested, inspected, detected and selected.  And whether this is the cause or just something else, it turns out I was very deficient in Vitamin D (so much for redheads generating their own!), magnesium and B. 

Now I'm on huge doses of those, I drink passionflower tea like it's going outta style and every couple of weeks take myself off to a psychologist who has entirely different ideas about what started this thing.

For some reason though, whenever I work in my garden I feel ok for a little while.

And the garden has totally benefited from my devotion!

Back in April BC (before crazy), and before I moved into Bears house, we installed a trellis and sowed Sweet Pea seeds.
 


They started to grow.
 

Months later Spring finally arrived and the sweet peas began to really move.


 The first flowers on the 4th of October...

Now these sweet peas are over 6ft tall.  The flowers are still slowly coming on but smell AMAZING!
  

We're only a week or two away from a strawberry harvest (under the netting), a month away from tomato picking, and are already eating the rainbow chard and lettuces.

And see this ugly patch?  Next weekend we will roll out some turf.


The Piggies get lots of fresh chard and weeds.


Loganberries!

  
This morning I woke at about 6.30am.  I began getting that yucky feeling that usually means a panic attack was about to start. No reason why. Just because my brain is intent on pissing me off and being a jerk face.

So do you know what I did?  I started telling myself:

I am the Queen and this is my Queendom.

What a weird thing to think!

It came out of nowhere.

And by Queendom I was thinking of our house. Our garden. Our family. 

I ran that thought on rotation for a few minutes and strangely felt really good.
I don't think this is supposed to work that way. But this morning, on this occasion, it worked.

I got out of bed, had a shower, took Sonofagun No.2 to swimming lessons and felt like the Queen of today.
And then I bought some more seedlings.
 



 I am still crocheting everyday. I am currently working on a project with some beautiful variegated yarn. I'm making lots of lovely basic granny squares which I think may end up as a shawl.  I'm actually not sure yet!



I am also onto my 2nd pair of knitted socks!

 
But because some days are still not so great, it will take longer for me to publish patterns and be funny in blogland for a little while as I take things one day at a time.


xox
Louise

The Red Haired Amazona